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Long Beach Personal Injury Law Blog

Lawmakers' proposal would provide paid leave for new parents

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) requires most employers to provide 12 weeks of leave for employees who need to take care of a family member. That guaranteed leave, however, is unpaid.

Now two members of Congress have proposed a plan that would be the first new federal family leave option in the 25 years since the FMLA went into effect. The proposed legislation, introduced by Sen. Marco Rubio and Rep. Ann Wagner, is called the Economic Security for New Parents Act. The proposed law would give new parents two months' paid leave to care for their new family members.

What to look for when buying your teen's first car

If you're looking for a car for your teen so that they're not constantly borrowing yours or for them to take to college, it's understandable that you're conscientious about price. However, you don't want to skimp too much. Older models are less expensive, but they lack many important safety features that are now standard in many cars.

Some important safety features that can protect your young driver include:

  • Back-up camera and sensors
  • Anti-lock brakes
  • Airbags
  • Crumple zones
  • Electronic stability control
  • Tire pressure monitoring
  • Laminated windshields

Proposed legislation would change current federal disability laws

People with disabilities have rights that help prevent workplace discrimination, thanks in large part to two laws — the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. The Rehabilitation Act may be the lesser known of these two. According to the ADA website, it "prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in programs conducted by Federal agencies, in programs receiving Federal financial assistance, in Federal employment, and in the employment practices of Federal contractors."

Now, some members of Congress are seeking to change the Rehabilitation Act in a way that would impact both laws. The proposed legislation, called "Workplace Choice and Flexibility for Individuals with Disabilities Act" ( H.R. 5658). Its sponsors, with one exception, are Republicans.

Misunderstandings about lane splitting can be dangerous

Although lane splitting is a source of frustration for many California motorists, motorcyclists understand that's it's legal in our state. Most California motorcyclists do it regularly or at least often.

Under a law that took effect in Jan. 2017, lane splitting is defined as "driving a motorcycle...that has two wheels in contact with the ground, between rows of stopped or moving vehicles in the same lane, including on both divided and undivided streets, roads, or highways." Lane splitting had been legal before that and a way for California bikers even before the Easy Rider days to deal with our notorious freeway gridlock. However, the new law helped the California Highway Patrol (CHP), other agencies and motorcycle safety organizations develop important lane splitting guidelines.

How to substantiate a workplace harassment claim

You're being harassed nearly every day at work. It's making your life unbearable and your job virtually impossible to do well. You can't go to your boss, because he's one of the people participating in the harassment. You go to your human resources representative, but she just goes to your boss, who gets angry and steps up the harassment.

Whether you're being harassed because of a characteristic like your gender, race, sexual orientation, age, disability or birthplace or people have just decided that you're an easy target, you don't have to put up with it. Making a solid discrimination case against an employer requires a bit of work on your part, though.

Why your salaried job may not make you exempt from overtime pay

Going from being an hourly employee to a salaried one is often seen as a step up in the workplace. Salaried jobs have long been perceived (or misperceived) as being more valuable than hourly jobs and held by those with more education or highly coveted skills.

It's also widely assumed that salaried employees are exempt from overtime pay and required breaks. They're expected to work as many hours as needed to get the job done and make the organization successful.

What is 'reasonable accommodation' in the California workplace?

Many Californians with disabilities have valuable skills and talents that aren't impacted by their disability. They may simply need some accommodations, particularly if they're in a traditional workplace like an office setting, to allow them to do their job.

Under the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which became law in 1990, employers are required to make "reasonable accommodations" to help disabled individuals seek work and do their jobs.

How to stay safe around 18-wheelers

Semi-trucks are gigantic, sluggish, slow to stop and slow to accelerate. It's no wonder that they cause countless deaths and fatalities on our nation's roadways every year. Much of this problem relates to the dangerous characteristics of semi-trucks compared to their smaller, passenger vehicle counterparts. However, another issue that elevates these dangers is the lack of respect passenger car drivers have for 18-wheelers.

If you want to stay as safe as possible around big rigs and avoid accidents, here are a few driving tips you should follow:

Have you heard of quid pro quo sexual harassment?

When you started your job, you were probably optimistic regarding your opportunities for advancement, the chance to participate in new opportunities and to work in a friendly and relatively stress-free environment. That vision may even have seemed like a reality for a while.

Then, something changed. Your supervisor or manager began making inappropriate comments and perhaps even made sexual overtures toward you. You were able to ignore it for quite some time. However, when you wanted a raise, a promotion or some other benefit from your employment, your boss told you that you couldn't get something for nothing. Perhaps you faced a reprimand or termination, and your boss agreed not to follow through if you gave him or her something in return.

Employee privacy at work

As an employee, you have certain protections in place to guard your privacy. There are some things that legally should remain private, particularly after you have had a confidential discussion with a manager or another co-worker about a certain issue. You have the right to keep your personal life separate from your work life. However, many issues regarding employee privacy can be controversial.

Employee privacy and harassment are issues that often mix. Unfortunately, when a breach of privacy is committed, it is often accompanied by workplace harassment or bullying. If you believe that you have been a victim of workplace harassment, it is important to learn about the law and stand up for your rights.

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